Kyrgios wins Wimbledon opener, joined by Brown in last 64

It will be Nick Kyrgios vs. Dustin Brown at Wimbledon on Thursday. Popcorn, anyone?

That second-round showdown became a reality after Brown outlasted Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and Kyrgios held off Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(9), 6-1 on Tuesday afternoon.

Kyrgios hits between-the-legs lob winner:

“I used to play challengers with Dustin,” Kyrgios commented. “But I feel like we started to get close obviously last year (at the) IPTL. That event was unbelievable. I still talk to everyone that went to that event. Me and Dustin have been mates for a long time now.  I’m a massive fan of his tennis.

“That’s another tough [match]; especially on the grass. I think he just waits for this time of the year.  He’s a good friend of mine as well. When you’re playing a guy like Dustin, you hope it’s not a day when he’s feeling it, he can’t miss, he’s enjoying it. When he’s playing like that, we all know what he can do–what he’s capable of. He’s a great player. [Also], he’s exciting. I’m ready to have fun out there with him…. It’s (going to be) a circus.”
Stan Wawrinka did his best to prevent such an atmosphere from developing in his first-round match against Taylor Fritz. The American put up an impressive fight and showed signs of turning this one into an absolute thriller when he took the third set in a tiebreaker, but Wawrinka steadied the ship to prevail 7-6(4), 6-1, 7-6(2), 6-4 in two hours and 23 minutes.

The fourth seeded Swiss surrendered serve only once despite putting in only 54 percent of his first deliveries. He earned five breaks of Fritz while winning more than half of his second-serve return points.

“It felt great,” the 18-year-old answered when asked about the experience of facing a two-time Grand Slam champion on Court 1 at the All-England Club. ” It was really good to step onto the court. I was really happy with the fact that I didn’t really [let it] bother me. I wasn’t nervous. So that was something I was worried about, maybe to step out there and lock up, but that wasn’t the case at all. It felt pretty comfortable on the court.”

“He’s young,” Wawrinka noted of Fritz. “Playing really well, for sure. (I) practiced with him in Madrid. He has a great potential, for sure. He has a good game; really talented.  Strong serve. Good backhand.  Yeah, for sure is the future of the tennis.  But we have to see how he’s going to improve the next few years. He’s still also younger than the other players. It’s going to be interesting to see.”

As for the world No. 5, we will see him in the last 64 against Juan Martin Del Potro after the Argentine cruised past Stephane Robert 6-1, 7-5, 6-0.

Wawrinka-Fritz highlights:

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